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Monday, May 16, 2022

First of Many: Divya Dutta revisits Surakshaa

This week's 'First of Many' features Divya Dutta. In the 46th edition of our exclusive series, the Special Ops actor talks about the first time she faced the camera.

Written by Mimansa Shekhar | New Delhi |
June 17, 2020 1:34:56 pm
surakshaa film divya dutta debut Divya Dutta faced the camera for the first time in Surakshaa.

In a career spanning 25 years, National Award-winning actor Divya Dutta has been part of projects like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Veer-Zaara, Badlapur, Manto, Irada, Welcome to Sajjanpur, Delhi-6, Gippi and Stanley Ka Dabba.

Dutta’s filmography is a mixed bag and in languages varying from Hindi to Punjabi, English and Malayalam. She was recently seen in Disney+ Hotstar’s Special Ops.

But how did it all begin for Divya Dutta? Here’s what the actor shared:

1. What was your first acting project? How did the project come to you?

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The first project I shot for was a film called Surakshaa (1995). Though my first release was Ishq Mein Jeena Ishq Mein Marna, I faced the camera for Surakshaa before that. I was 17 or 18. I was also appearing for my graduation exams along with it. This was 1994-1995, and I was a Stardust protegee. We had met a lot of producers and directors. In the industry, nobody says no to you. So I thought I was doing a good 22 films without knowing I wasn’t a part of any! Then I landed this film which was a multi-starrer with Suniel Shetty, Saif Ali Khan, Aditya Pancholi and Monica Bedi. That time I don’t think I had a choice of selecting roles. For someone coming from outside the industry, this was good enough. I was just happy being a part of a feature film.

2. What do you remember of your first day on set?

We were doing a night sequence at the beach. It was also raining. In the sequence, Suniel was trying to take me home, and I didn’t want to go because my stepmother wanted to sell me off. Then the goons arrive, and the hero saves me. I was watching the scenes and laughing away.

3. Were you nervous? How many retakes did you take?

I seriously wasn’t nervous. Instead, I was excited like a little kid. I just wouldn’t sit. It was also because I was drenched and didn’t want to feel more wet. Suniel told the director that this new girl is full of life, but she’s been standing all night!

Ever since I was a kid, the only thing that I’ve wanted was to be in front of the camera. And this was coming true. Everything right from the director saying ‘camera’, ‘action’, ‘lights’ and ‘zoom-it’, and everyone looking at me as the new girl was everything and more.

4. How was the rapport with your co-stars when you got to meet or work with them again later?

I met Suniel so many times, though I don’t think we shot for any film again. We still share a very warm rapport. I shot with the director Raju Mavani again.

5. If given a chance to go back to your debut role, what would you like to change or do better?

I would ideally choose a more romantic film with some nice romantic songs and scenes as my debut because I am a die-hard romantic. This was an action flick, and I was there for glam quotient.

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6. One film or role that inspired you to become an actor? 

Guddi, Khoobsurat and Mausam. Dharmendra ji and I are from the same hometown. He was initially sceptical about me joining films, like a protective Punjabi man. But when he saw me working, he was very encouraging. He once told me, “You know if I had my way, I would’ve loved to see you in a role like Guddi.” That time I was too shy to tell him that this has been my dream role.

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